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Oct. 20, 2022

Eze Vidra (Remagine Ventures) - Investing in Israel, Media, and the Metaverse

Eze Vidra (Remagine Ventures) - Investing in Israel, Media, and the Metaverse

Our guest today is Eze Vidra, Managing Partner of Remagine Ventures. Remagine, focuses on a cluster of these interconnected sectors, specifically media, entertainment, sports, commerce and data. We discuss consumer tech investing in Israel, VR & AR, and different use cases when it comes to the metaverse. Without further ado, here’s Eze.

We discuss:

  1. I know you’re very focused on Israel. Why has Israel thrived as an entrepreneurship center?
  2. Since it is a small market, how do companies approach expansion? Do you see it more spreading into europe or U.S. or east?
  3. What was your initial attraction to technology and entrepreneurship?
  4. At what point did you become a venture capitalist and why did you no longer want to be an operator?
  5. Why did you leave Google Ventures to start Reimagine?
  6. Walk me through your due diligence process.
    1. How do you evaluate opportunities?
    2. Do you think of your selves more thematic or opportunistic?
  7. What are some of the areas/categories that get you excited?
  8. What are the biggest opportunities that are overlooked?
  9. What is the current state of the creator economy?
Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:12.320 --> 00:00:16.960 Hello, and welcome to the Goodsummer VC podcast, where we discussed the intersection 2 00:00:17.000 --> 00:00:20.640 of venture capital and consumer I'm your host, Mike Gelb, and if you're 3 00:00:20.679 --> 00:00:24.839 enjoying the show, you can subscribe to my newsletter where you'll receive new episodes 4 00:00:24.879 --> 00:00:29.320 a weaker. Head to the Consumer VC dot com and click subscribe. All 5 00:00:29.399 --> 00:00:34.759 continent episodes are for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not investment advice. 6 00:00:35.000 --> 00:00:39.960 Our guest today is Easy Vidra, managing partner of Remagine Ventures. Imagine focuses 7 00:00:40.039 --> 00:00:45.439 on a cluster of interconnected sectors, specifically media, entertainment, sports, commerce, 8 00:00:45.520 --> 00:00:50.200 and data. We discussed consumer tech investing in Israel, VR and a 9 00:00:50.479 --> 00:00:54.280 R, as well as the different use cases when it comes to metaverse and 10 00:00:54.359 --> 00:01:03.159 a bunch more without further ado, here's Easy Easy. Thank you so much 11 00:01:03.200 --> 00:01:06.159 for joining me here. How are you, Mike. It's so good to 12 00:01:06.239 --> 00:01:08.799 be here. I'm good. I'm excited that we finally made it happen after 13 00:01:10.040 --> 00:01:14.840 emailing back and forth for a couple of years. I know, I'm drilled 14 00:01:14.879 --> 00:01:18.400 as well. You're on my shortlist when I started the podcast, and finally 15 00:01:18.439 --> 00:01:21.599 here we are. This is this is fantastic. I love it, love 16 00:01:21.640 --> 00:01:26.560 it. You know, I know that reimagine it's based in Israel or you 17 00:01:26.599 --> 00:01:29.560 obviously have a lot of ties to Israel. Where are some of the reasons 18 00:01:29.560 --> 00:01:34.519 why Israel has thrived as really like an entrepreneurial center. That's a great question, 19 00:01:34.560 --> 00:01:38.400 So you're right it in fund one Imagine Ventures is focused on Israeli related 20 00:01:38.439 --> 00:01:42.680 startups. If you look at sort of like the size of the global venture 21 00:01:42.719 --> 00:01:48.840 market, you have the US with like three thirty billion raising, China with 22 00:01:48.959 --> 00:01:53.159 approximately that maybe three twenty six, and then outside of those markets US and 23 00:01:53.239 --> 00:01:57.799 China, you know, maybe with the exception of India, it's US and 24 00:01:57.840 --> 00:02:02.239 the UK with the UK raising about forty billion one and Israel with twenty six 25 00:02:02.640 --> 00:02:07.879 point six. What's crazy is that Israel is the country of about nine million 26 00:02:07.920 --> 00:02:12.439 people, so per capital it's kind of like unprecedented, unbelievable. There's a 27 00:02:12.520 --> 00:02:16.240 whole book that sort of like tells the story of why or how Israel went 28 00:02:16.280 --> 00:02:22.080 from exporting oranges in the nineties too, sort of like startup Nation. The 29 00:02:22.120 --> 00:02:25.080 book is called Startup Nation. I highly recommended for anyone that's interested in that. 30 00:02:25.240 --> 00:02:30.319 But the short answer, it's a combination of you know, necessity is 31 00:02:30.319 --> 00:02:35.599 the mother of invention. It's a small country that sort of like needed to 32 00:02:35.599 --> 00:02:39.439 to innovate to stay alive. But but also it's you know, it's part 33 00:02:39.439 --> 00:02:43.680 of the culture in the US. You know. I'm sure that you've seen 34 00:02:43.719 --> 00:02:46.639 the show Entourage, and it's about the story of like four guys, you 35 00:02:46.680 --> 00:02:50.919 know that one of the friends becomes like a Hollywood start and they moved to 36 00:02:51.120 --> 00:02:54.080 l a and they live they live their life in Hollywood. Right in Israel, 37 00:02:54.120 --> 00:02:58.400 there was a similar show on TV, but the story is about four 38 00:02:58.439 --> 00:03:00.599 friends that sell a startup, you know, and that's the role model is 39 00:03:00.639 --> 00:03:05.759 to be a tech entrepreneur. So it's very rare in Israel to take a 40 00:03:05.800 --> 00:03:08.159 cab or to go to a restaurant and not getting pitched. If you if 41 00:03:08.199 --> 00:03:13.759 people know that you're a VC, that's awesome. That's also so it's really 42 00:03:13.800 --> 00:03:16.039 just part of the culture, and it just seems like there's a lot of 43 00:03:16.400 --> 00:03:20.039 even like I know, the government also does like quite a bit of funding 44 00:03:20.080 --> 00:03:23.719 too with an entrepreneur, So it really is just kind of embedded into into 45 00:03:23.120 --> 00:03:27.080 you know, the citizens. Really yeah, if you want to get to 46 00:03:27.120 --> 00:03:30.199 the knitic video of it, what really kick started. It was sort of 47 00:03:30.240 --> 00:03:35.360 like a VC program that gave funds money to invest with some you know, 48 00:03:35.439 --> 00:03:38.439 downside protection and then upside protection as well. So if you if you did 49 00:03:38.479 --> 00:03:42.199 really well, you only have to return a little bit. If you if 50 00:03:42.199 --> 00:03:45.439 you lost the money, that's okay, we won't chase you. And you 51 00:03:45.479 --> 00:03:50.439 know, you combine that with sort of like high technical skills and sort of 52 00:03:50.479 --> 00:03:54.960 like a risk taking culture and the timing of all of that, you know, 53 00:03:55.159 --> 00:03:59.719 sort of like at the time that tech was becoming big at the late 54 00:03:59.840 --> 00:04:02.360 night in tees, you know, started with semi conductors, maybe continued with 55 00:04:02.400 --> 00:04:08.199 cybersecurity. And the bet that we're making is that actually the talent in Israel 56 00:04:08.240 --> 00:04:11.919 for tech is actually much broader than that. And even though Israel was known 57 00:04:12.000 --> 00:04:16.839 for semi conductors and cybersecurity, when it comes to consumer gaming interactive entertainment, 58 00:04:16.839 --> 00:04:21.399 there's incredible levels of talent that they're currently underserved by the local investor community. 59 00:04:21.480 --> 00:04:26.160 So that's where we focus. So within those sectors you said gaming, I'd 60 00:04:26.199 --> 00:04:31.000 imagine just looking at your thesis like creator economy, I'd imagine like metaverse maybe 61 00:04:31.000 --> 00:04:34.399 that ties into gaming a r VR, Like what we think about talent in 62 00:04:34.439 --> 00:04:40.839 Israel. How do you also think about why companies kind of start in Israel 63 00:04:41.000 --> 00:04:45.079 instead of maybe talent being maybe you know, exported per se to other countries 64 00:04:45.120 --> 00:04:47.759 that are producing companies in these kind of areas, Like how do you think 65 00:04:47.759 --> 00:04:50.639 about like that kind of functioned. Yeah, well, Israel is a tiny 66 00:04:50.720 --> 00:04:56.759 market domestically, so it's it's practically negligible. So Israeli startups have to look 67 00:04:56.800 --> 00:05:00.800 global from day one. Sitting in London, you know, sometimes the UK 68 00:05:00.959 --> 00:05:04.560 market feels big enough for companies to focus on and they might not think globally 69 00:05:04.600 --> 00:05:09.639 from day one, you know, or German companies might initially target the German 70 00:05:09.639 --> 00:05:14.240 market. Israeli companies rarely target the Israeli market. And on the other hand, 71 00:05:14.360 --> 00:05:17.800 they have the very advanced TEX stack when it comes to AI, machine 72 00:05:17.879 --> 00:05:23.759 learning, computer vision. Until recently, I would say they didn't feel confident 73 00:05:24.120 --> 00:05:29.680 to tackle consumer sectors. I think a lot of that change with success stories 74 00:05:29.959 --> 00:05:33.399 like ways or like weeks, you know, the website builder, or with 75 00:05:33.519 --> 00:05:38.120 the in the gaming section, you know, like you have companies like moon 76 00:05:38.279 --> 00:05:43.199 Active that created one game called coin Master, which is insanely profitable and you 77 00:05:43.199 --> 00:05:45.879 know, has been valued. The company has been valued at several billion, 78 00:05:46.160 --> 00:05:51.000 and as you developed these success stories in other verticals, you're not only understand 79 00:05:51.000 --> 00:05:55.560 that you know it's possible, but also you start having alumni and talent of 80 00:05:55.639 --> 00:05:59.360 people that were sort of like trained in growing these companies to to be the 81 00:05:59.399 --> 00:06:02.040 giants that are and then when they naturally leave and want to start their own 82 00:06:02.040 --> 00:06:06.319 thing, they're going to do things that they feel like they can be overqualified 83 00:06:06.439 --> 00:06:11.079 or experts in doing so. That's how you've seen sort of like the ecosystem 84 00:06:11.160 --> 00:06:14.720 grow, But it started very narrow, I would say, semiconductors and silicon 85 00:06:14.879 --> 00:06:17.160 and you know, and that being an area of expertise, and you know, 86 00:06:17.439 --> 00:06:21.000 enterprise take is still very big in Israel, but it has expanded massively. 87 00:06:21.360 --> 00:06:25.079 I think you also said, you know something really interesting about how you 88 00:06:25.120 --> 00:06:28.439 know the Israeli market it's very very small, which I certainly agree with, 89 00:06:28.600 --> 00:06:31.040 and that Israeli startups have to go global from day one. Where you see 90 00:06:31.120 --> 00:06:35.319 when when you're advising and and looking at companies that are based in Israel, 91 00:06:35.600 --> 00:06:40.240 and they usually think about what is like the first market outside of the Israeli 92 00:06:40.279 --> 00:06:43.959 market too, and that they kind of wanted to hence down the US start 93 00:06:44.000 --> 00:06:46.639 with yeah, hands down the US, okay um. And there's pretty established 94 00:06:46.680 --> 00:06:51.120 lines, you know, like it's it used to be the case that you 95 00:06:51.199 --> 00:06:56.240 pretty much have to move to the US in order for the company to to 96 00:06:56.360 --> 00:06:58.800 grow. As the CEO, you start a company in Israel, you're going 97 00:06:58.839 --> 00:07:01.240 to have to move to the US. I think recently, in recent years 98 00:07:01.360 --> 00:07:04.360 things have changed a little bit, you know with remote the rise of remote 99 00:07:04.360 --> 00:07:09.560 work and you can work from everywhere. But there's very established lines of Israeli 100 00:07:09.720 --> 00:07:15.279 entrepreneurs going from somewhere like Israel to either you know, Palo Alto San Francisco, 101 00:07:15.399 --> 00:07:17.920 Menlo Park, Silicon Valley area or New York, you know, sort 102 00:07:17.920 --> 00:07:23.439 of like more attic commerce related startups. I'm seeing it changing a little bit 103 00:07:23.480 --> 00:07:27.079 and it's no longer sort of like a pre requirement. But the US is 104 00:07:27.120 --> 00:07:30.879 definitely d market that people are aiming. I know that there's a lot of 105 00:07:30.959 --> 00:07:38.279 now a lot of excitement about metaverse and creative economy and air VR. What 106 00:07:38.399 --> 00:07:43.279 are some of the opportunities that you think are maybe sil overlooked or or people 107 00:07:43.439 --> 00:07:46.600 really maybe haven't thought about. And it could be even on a global scale 108 00:07:46.600 --> 00:07:49.199 too, in terms of different pockets. Sure, so I think, you 109 00:07:49.240 --> 00:07:53.720 know, there's a lot of excitement and equally, there's a lot of confusion. 110 00:07:53.959 --> 00:07:58.920 We're in this like fuzzy front end, you know period where the metaverse. 111 00:07:59.079 --> 00:08:01.000 You keep reading parts about it. You know it's going to be worth 112 00:08:01.079 --> 00:08:05.759 five trillion, thirteen trillion, depending on whose report you're reading, Mackenzie City, 113 00:08:05.800 --> 00:08:09.639 Bank, Accenture, whatever you have survey saying like the two thirds of 114 00:08:09.680 --> 00:08:15.800 company execs are already involving the companies with the metaverse. But the reality is 115 00:08:15.839 --> 00:08:20.319 it's very difficult to day to define what the metaverse exactly is. You know, 116 00:08:20.480 --> 00:08:22.600 is it Fortnight, is it the game? Is it only VR. 117 00:08:22.759 --> 00:08:26.839 At the same time, I think it creates a huge opportunity because there there 118 00:08:26.959 --> 00:08:31.120 is this confusion, But at the same time, there's a lot of talent 119 00:08:31.319 --> 00:08:37.159 working on disruptive ideas to build these three D immersive experiences for for consumers. 120 00:08:37.279 --> 00:08:43.440 And ultimately, I think the big potential is in how it's going to change 121 00:08:43.519 --> 00:08:48.720 every industry. So I think metaverse plus health, metaverse plus education, you 122 00:08:48.720 --> 00:08:52.480 know, metaverse plus commerce. To get there, I think we're going to 123 00:08:52.559 --> 00:08:54.799 have to build a lot of infrastructure, which is where I get excited. 124 00:08:54.919 --> 00:08:58.840 You know, like what are the tools that are going to be needed in 125 00:08:58.960 --> 00:09:03.559 order to populate this virtual world in order to create these virtual words, distribute 126 00:09:03.600 --> 00:09:07.080 them, maintain them, et cetera. We've made several bets in this regard, 127 00:09:07.200 --> 00:09:11.840 so you know, sort of like the way that we look at it 128 00:09:11.879 --> 00:09:16.639 is at the center, we put the consumer and you know, consumer experiences, 129 00:09:16.799 --> 00:09:20.559 right, so what are the cool consumer experiences you can do? And 130 00:09:20.600 --> 00:09:24.120 we've invested, for example, in a gaming studio that builds experiences for girls 131 00:09:24.200 --> 00:09:30.639 on rob blocks. So there's you know, one point five billion female gamers, 132 00:09:30.679 --> 00:09:33.200 about half of the gaming population, but most you know, games are 133 00:09:33.279 --> 00:09:39.799 more for boys and their partner with female related i P that wants to enter 134 00:09:39.840 --> 00:09:41.799 this metaverse, and in order to do that, they can't do it alone. 135 00:09:41.840 --> 00:09:46.240 They have to work with the partners that are native to the platform. 136 00:09:46.320 --> 00:09:48.399 So that's a company called Toya. And then sort of like starting from the 137 00:09:48.440 --> 00:09:52.960 center consumer experiences all the way out to infrastructure. And an example of an 138 00:09:54.000 --> 00:09:58.919 infrastructure that we've made is a company called Echo three D that is a c 139 00:09:58.120 --> 00:10:03.440 D N and c MS for three D content. So once you have um 140 00:10:03.480 --> 00:10:05.559 sort of like the virtual worlds and you know, everything has moved to three 141 00:10:05.639 --> 00:10:09.159 D, how do you manage these assets in real time, serve them in 142 00:10:09.200 --> 00:10:13.360 the right format in every platform, and get model level analytics. So Echo 143 00:10:13.399 --> 00:10:18.440 three d does exactly that, and you know, work seamlessly across platforms and 144 00:10:18.600 --> 00:10:20.799 has grown from the time that we invested about a couple of years ago, 145 00:10:22.159 --> 00:10:28.200 from like two hundred developers to over twenty developers and attracted investment from Convoy Ventures 146 00:10:28.279 --> 00:10:33.639 and recently qual Conventures in a strategic round. So so the opportunities exist across 147 00:10:33.639 --> 00:10:37.600 the spectrum from sort of like consumer to infrastructure, and in the middle you 148 00:10:37.679 --> 00:10:43.039 have enabling tech, and enabling tech can be the creator economy related startups, 149 00:10:43.039 --> 00:10:48.480 so tools for content creation, moderation, distribution, monetization, or technologies like 150 00:10:48.559 --> 00:10:54.399 synthetic video, you know to create video from text using AI wow. So 151 00:10:54.480 --> 00:11:00.360 a lot are to your first example about, and that's in a company that's 152 00:11:00.440 --> 00:11:03.320 kind of building on top of Roadblocks, were using Roadblocks. I'd imagine that's 153 00:11:03.360 --> 00:11:09.240 also quite challenging because part of the bet is that Roadblocks is going to also 154 00:11:09.519 --> 00:11:13.360 grow and expand as you know, their own company obviously they're huge company already, 155 00:11:13.399 --> 00:11:18.879 but um to also grow and expand their number of users and what have 156 00:11:18.039 --> 00:11:24.600 you. How do you think since these are some of the opportunities companies building 157 00:11:24.639 --> 00:11:28.120 already, what are you know, their own metaverses per se there, How 158 00:11:28.159 --> 00:11:31.799 do you identify and assess, you know, what kind of macro platform is 159 00:11:31.799 --> 00:11:35.720 going to make it versus what what is it? Because I imagine that that 160 00:11:35.799 --> 00:11:37.840 also kind of like is is kind of a wrinkle that's that's hard to know, 161 00:11:39.320 --> 00:11:43.240 you know, the expression that it takes a decade to create an overnight 162 00:11:43.279 --> 00:11:46.240 success, you know, so like road Blocks has been doing this for a 163 00:11:46.279 --> 00:11:52.120 long time right then. And road Blocks is a great example because they build 164 00:11:52.679 --> 00:11:58.440 the world, they build the universe that where people play in the economy, 165 00:11:58.480 --> 00:12:01.840 but the games are created by the users. The experiences that created by the 166 00:12:01.960 --> 00:12:07.759 users. So the investment in Toya was not a typical one because it's a 167 00:12:07.759 --> 00:12:11.519 bit different in terms of its economics to other gaming investments. Right typically in 168 00:12:11.559 --> 00:12:16.279 gaming, it's almost like a science like people come to you with a genre, 169 00:12:16.720 --> 00:12:18.840 like they say, I'm going to do a puzzle game, you know, 170 00:12:18.960 --> 00:12:22.600 mobile casual game in the puzzle category, and I know how much I'm 171 00:12:22.600 --> 00:12:26.480 gonna pay per user um in these markets, and I know how much I'm 172 00:12:26.480 --> 00:12:28.440 going to make back in revenue, and you know, this is what you 173 00:12:28.440 --> 00:12:33.159 can expect when it comes to road Blocks. It's kind of like related to 174 00:12:33.200 --> 00:12:37.559 the creator economy because all the game developers are creators and you have the same 175 00:12:37.639 --> 00:12:41.960 issues that you have in the creator economy with platforms, with take rate, 176 00:12:41.000 --> 00:12:45.919 et cetera. But road Blocks went from something like two hundred and fifty thou 177 00:12:46.320 --> 00:12:50.759 in revenue shared with creators in twenty two. I believe over a billion in 178 00:12:50.559 --> 00:12:54.759 one, and I think they're on track to more than double that in two. 179 00:12:54.840 --> 00:12:58.639 They're definitely under a lot of pressure to increase the revenue for creators. 180 00:12:58.679 --> 00:13:01.879 The other an interesting thing about rob blocks is that typically a lot of the 181 00:13:01.919 --> 00:13:07.080 money that goes in a gaming investment, well about half of the money goes 182 00:13:07.120 --> 00:13:11.679 to develop the game and the other half most likely goes to marketing and to 183 00:13:11.679 --> 00:13:15.879 to buy those users to to get their attention to install your app and play 184 00:13:15.879 --> 00:13:18.080 your game. And in the case of rob blocks, that's not the case. 185 00:13:18.480 --> 00:13:22.039 I mean, you can advertise, it's not super effective, it's not 186 00:13:22.120 --> 00:13:26.600 as as developed a sort of like mobile app advertising, but if the game 187 00:13:26.679 --> 00:13:31.279 is engaging, then the rob blocks algorithm would recommend users to come to your 188 00:13:31.320 --> 00:13:37.000 game. So what was been incredible In the case of Toya, they created 189 00:13:37.039 --> 00:13:41.320 one of their games. It's called Miraculous Ladybag. Roleplay Miraculous Lady Bag. 190 00:13:41.399 --> 00:13:45.320 You know, I have little kids. Anyone that has kids probably knows Miraculou 191 00:13:45.360 --> 00:13:48.200 Lady Bag. She's a superhero that turns into a Ladybag. And their game 192 00:13:48.679 --> 00:13:54.360 has been so engaging that they received over three d and fifty million plays with 193 00:13:54.519 --> 00:13:58.559 zero spent on marketing. That's unheard of in the mobile game world. So 194 00:13:58.559 --> 00:14:03.120 so it was an interesting bet to sort of like see if you can build 195 00:14:03.440 --> 00:14:07.360 a professional game developer on top of another platform. I'm always a bit weary, 196 00:14:07.600 --> 00:14:11.639 of wary, sorry of platform risk. You know, if you remember 197 00:14:11.639 --> 00:14:18.080 the early gaming developers on Facebook, like like Zinga with Farmville, when the 198 00:14:18.120 --> 00:14:20.799 platform sneezes, you catch pneumonia. It's not different here, you know, 199 00:14:20.840 --> 00:14:26.519 like you still have platform risk, but there is a codependency between the platform 200 00:14:26.559 --> 00:14:30.960 and the creators in this case. Um so, you know, so we're 201 00:14:30.960 --> 00:14:35.000 pretty bullish about the future of Roadblocks as a platform. Yeah. I remember 202 00:14:35.039 --> 00:14:43.440 hearing David Pazuki on a on a podcast saying, how um kind of almost 203 00:14:43.480 --> 00:14:46.639 hands off he wants to be with the creators. He wants his creators to 204 00:14:46.759 --> 00:14:50.080 obviously create, and it's their creations, and they're just so happy to be 205 00:14:50.159 --> 00:14:54.919 created on Roadblocks. But it's not roadblocks I P or you know that. 206 00:14:54.039 --> 00:14:56.480 So I don't want to take words of his mouth. Yeah, and I 207 00:14:58.120 --> 00:15:01.200 truly believe that he means that, becau as I think that the entire Roadblocks 208 00:15:01.240 --> 00:15:05.639 experience is dependent on creators. The other interesting thing that's happening though, is 209 00:15:05.679 --> 00:15:13.200 that there are now a growing number, but still very few professional developers on 210 00:15:13.320 --> 00:15:18.320 Roadblocks. So the question is, can you sort of like elevate the experience 211 00:15:18.799 --> 00:15:20.919 still enabling sort of like anyone that wants to create a game to do it, 212 00:15:20.960 --> 00:15:24.799 but also to provide some premium games that are sort of like developed by 213 00:15:24.840 --> 00:15:28.840 a professional studio that has a team and people and et cetera. And then 214 00:15:30.120 --> 00:15:33.360 when i P wants to come into these games, you know, think about 215 00:15:33.120 --> 00:15:37.639 any female i P you can think of, and there's plenty that probably pop 216 00:15:37.720 --> 00:15:41.200 to mind. They have to, you know, work with a partner in 217 00:15:41.279 --> 00:15:43.559 order to do that. They can just pay someone like a traditional gaming student 218 00:15:43.600 --> 00:15:46.879 and say hey, build me something for roll Blocks, it's just not going 219 00:15:46.919 --> 00:15:50.720 to work so that's where I see an exciting opportunity as well as in professionalizing 220 00:15:52.039 --> 00:15:56.320 something that started very grassroots and and think thinking about providing the premium experience of 221 00:15:56.399 --> 00:16:00.279 that. How also beind of like, you know, maybe decades ago, 222 00:16:00.759 --> 00:16:06.679 invested in game studios and venture capital doesn't really go hand in hand, right. 223 00:16:06.759 --> 00:16:11.600 I don't think there's many vcs that were expecting game studios to create the 224 00:16:11.639 --> 00:16:15.000 type of returns that you would need to if they were to do well. 225 00:16:15.039 --> 00:16:18.240 What's kind of evolved in that thinking of why? Because essentially you're investing in 226 00:16:18.279 --> 00:16:22.120 game studio, is right, and so what's kind of like the evolution of 227 00:16:22.159 --> 00:16:25.080 that thinking a little caveat and I would say, you know, half of 228 00:16:25.080 --> 00:16:29.679 our investments are B two C consumers, and within that, I think a 229 00:16:29.759 --> 00:16:33.519 large percentage are focused on gaming and the other half are sort of like the 230 00:16:33.519 --> 00:16:38.320 biggest drivers for the consumer trends. Right, So like, if we believe 231 00:16:38.799 --> 00:16:44.840 that video is going to be the Internet in the near future, then we 232 00:16:44.879 --> 00:16:48.879 would not hesitate to invest in a video creation technology, so B two B 233 00:16:48.960 --> 00:16:51.320 two C. But you write it like a lot of our focus is on 234 00:16:51.440 --> 00:16:56.080 gaming, both the content and infrastructure, And it was a bit of an 235 00:16:56.080 --> 00:16:59.480 evolution for us as well. When we started, we started with a focus 236 00:16:59.519 --> 00:17:03.960 on sort of entertainment, tech, media, et cetera. And then when 237 00:17:03.000 --> 00:17:07.759 you think about entertainment, and I define entertainment as everything that we do outside 238 00:17:07.759 --> 00:17:11.440 of work, right, and and how we spend their spare time outside of 239 00:17:11.440 --> 00:17:17.279 work. Gaming is probably the most popular form of entertainment for anyone fifty and 240 00:17:17.319 --> 00:17:21.160 below in the US. I mean there's not just me saying that their studies 241 00:17:21.200 --> 00:17:22.640 by new Zoo. You know, we post a lot of them on our 242 00:17:22.680 --> 00:17:26.640 blog or on our LinkedIn page, and I invite you guys to check it 243 00:17:26.680 --> 00:17:30.319 out. But gaming is a huge part of how we spend our spare time. 244 00:17:30.640 --> 00:17:36.559 Everyone games, you know, like people that are over fifty and women, 245 00:17:36.680 --> 00:17:41.160 men, children, teenagers, etcetera. And the gaming industry as a 246 00:17:41.160 --> 00:17:44.960 whole is bigger than TV and music combined. I think film as well. 247 00:17:45.039 --> 00:17:51.119 Maybe so it's it's a huge industry. But it's difficult um when you're making 248 00:17:51.319 --> 00:17:56.240 tech investments to invest in content and ultimately gaming investments that are not infrastructure or 249 00:17:56.279 --> 00:18:00.119 investments in content. And that's where sort of like you need to do all 250 00:18:00.160 --> 00:18:03.480 up a bit of an expertise of how you assess teams, KPI, s 251 00:18:03.519 --> 00:18:07.640 et cetera at a very early stage and what bets are worthy of taking. 252 00:18:07.680 --> 00:18:11.160 But when you hit it right, you know, I think Microsoft acquisition of 253 00:18:11.200 --> 00:18:17.119 Activision. I believe it was the largest private company acquisition ever, you know, 254 00:18:17.200 --> 00:18:22.920 seventy billion in cash, and that's an example of the power that gaming 255 00:18:22.920 --> 00:18:27.200 can have. There's also gaming companies that I've seen that have one game and 256 00:18:27.240 --> 00:18:32.599 that single game is making them about fifty million dollars per day. You know, 257 00:18:32.720 --> 00:18:37.559 think about enterprise companies that have buildings full of engineers and they're fighting very 258 00:18:37.599 --> 00:18:41.839 hard to get fifty million dollars per year. This is one company, you 259 00:18:41.839 --> 00:18:45.200 know, you know, not that many people making fifty million a day with 260 00:18:45.240 --> 00:18:48.960 a single game. So I think it's what change in VC that it has 261 00:18:48.000 --> 00:18:52.680 been proven that you can create venture terns with gaming. It is a bit 262 00:18:52.680 --> 00:18:56.319 of a specialized area, but now with metaverse, it's very clear that gaming 263 00:18:56.319 --> 00:19:02.000 has become a huge entry point to the metaverse. A lot of these interactive, 264 00:19:02.079 --> 00:19:07.079 immersive social experiences are going to start from gaming. So I believe that 265 00:19:07.160 --> 00:19:11.079 the play is much bigger than just content that's monetized with ads and its whole 266 00:19:11.119 --> 00:19:17.279 economies and you know, transactions and opportunities that are going to come from this. 267 00:19:18.200 --> 00:19:21.519 What do you think about leisure, how we spend our time, you 268 00:19:21.559 --> 00:19:26.599 know, outside of work entertainment. Where do you think and you think about 269 00:19:26.680 --> 00:19:30.559 just just time, like that that amount of time that we have which is 270 00:19:30.640 --> 00:19:33.240 fixed. Where do you think the metaverse or these types of you know, 271 00:19:33.319 --> 00:19:37.960 immersive games, where do you think that time comes from? Like what industry 272 00:19:38.000 --> 00:19:44.359 do you think maybe shrinks because of the rise of the metaverse within like entertainment. 273 00:19:44.680 --> 00:19:48.920 I think you're already seeing the trends, for example, with with TV 274 00:19:48.559 --> 00:19:55.240 so linear TV right is shrinking massively, Like I think it starts with cable 275 00:19:55.279 --> 00:19:59.960 cutting right and then moving everything to the cloud, and then we you know, 276 00:20:00.279 --> 00:20:06.319 those eyeballs moved from TV maybe to Netflix right and like streaming, and 277 00:20:06.359 --> 00:20:12.359 then those eyeballs, unfortunately for Netflix, are moving from streaming to TikTok too 278 00:20:12.440 --> 00:20:18.359 short form, and I think those eyeballs are not necessarily going to live because 279 00:20:18.359 --> 00:20:22.640 I think you do have multiple forms of entertainment, you know, like I 280 00:20:22.640 --> 00:20:26.519 would not want music to go away anytime soon, but I think that gaming 281 00:20:26.839 --> 00:20:33.559 and metavers will take some of the some of the time from from those activities 282 00:20:33.559 --> 00:20:38.279 like passive watching. Perhaps it will take time from from streaming like live streaming 283 00:20:38.319 --> 00:20:42.599 like twitch. You know, like how many minutes you know per day are 284 00:20:44.079 --> 00:20:48.640 consumed of other people watching other people play games? You know, Like I 285 00:20:48.640 --> 00:20:53.960 think it's something like insane, like three hundred forty billion minutes per day or 286 00:20:53.960 --> 00:20:59.359 something that they're consumed. Perhaps instead of just watching someone else, you're gonna 287 00:20:59.400 --> 00:21:02.720 do it in a more immersive way where you can interact with other people, 288 00:21:02.799 --> 00:21:06.759 with your friends, with maybe with the streamer themselves. And I read the 289 00:21:06.799 --> 00:21:11.079 reports like everyone else, and the assessments say that in the future will spend 290 00:21:11.119 --> 00:21:14.880 you know, between two and four hours per day in the form factor of 291 00:21:14.920 --> 00:21:17.960 today, Like I have an oduous quest too, you know, I don't 292 00:21:18.000 --> 00:21:22.240 think I don't define the meta versus VR only or you know, VR specific, 293 00:21:22.319 --> 00:21:25.559 but as as a way to imagine, you know, like what it 294 00:21:25.559 --> 00:21:27.559 would be like. I don't see myself wearing a headset for four hours a 295 00:21:27.640 --> 00:21:30.960 day. I think it's it's insane. I think that a lot is going 296 00:21:32.039 --> 00:21:37.559 to change when Apple comes out with their own headsets or smart classes, and 297 00:21:37.599 --> 00:21:41.119 I think that the way we will experience the metaverse is also not just going 298 00:21:41.200 --> 00:21:44.640 to be via one screen. You know, it's not going to be just 299 00:21:44.880 --> 00:21:48.119 VR or just smart classes. It might also be on a computer like this 300 00:21:48.240 --> 00:21:52.799 where you're playing a game and hanging out with your friends after school in a 301 00:21:52.839 --> 00:21:55.799 way that is a bit different than, you know, than what you have 302 00:21:55.839 --> 00:22:00.440 today. I know that one of them. We're looking on remag Adventures site 303 00:22:00.480 --> 00:22:03.920 and you said, and it has open metaverse on there, which I've I've 304 00:22:03.920 --> 00:22:06.920 heard that term a lot, and it seems like, I mean, it 305 00:22:07.000 --> 00:22:11.039 sounds very utopian, right. You have maybe a lot of companies all that 306 00:22:11.079 --> 00:22:14.319 are able to kind of share and and you're kind of maybe if you're an 307 00:22:14.359 --> 00:22:18.039 avatar or you know, whatever your your character is, you can kind of 308 00:22:18.039 --> 00:22:22.079 go in between worlds. How do you think of that kind of working in 309 00:22:22.119 --> 00:22:25.279 the future. Is there an opportunity for that to work in the future if 310 00:22:25.279 --> 00:22:27.480 you kind of have this way to do that, or do you more mean 311 00:22:27.599 --> 00:22:34.240 open in terms of you actually could use different types of technology to be in 312 00:22:34.279 --> 00:22:37.680 the metaverse, But it just depends how immersive or not IMMERSI if you want 313 00:22:37.680 --> 00:22:41.240 to be so you could for example, access it on your phone, your 314 00:22:41.279 --> 00:22:45.079 computer, or you know, we're a headset. It's maybe the same region 315 00:22:45.400 --> 00:22:48.960 or the same universe. It's just dependent on how kind of immersive you want 316 00:22:48.960 --> 00:22:52.359 to be. It's a good question. So the classic definition of you know, 317 00:22:52.480 --> 00:22:57.359 distinction between open and close metaverse is close meta versus are these environments where 318 00:22:57.759 --> 00:23:03.720 essentially every thing you do is constricted to that one environment. So, you 319 00:23:03.759 --> 00:23:07.279 know, the best example that people use today is sort of like games, 320 00:23:07.480 --> 00:23:11.480 right, So, like you can have a game that is immersive, it's 321 00:23:11.519 --> 00:23:17.160 social, and you know, it's it's transactional, like all the qualities of 322 00:23:17.200 --> 00:23:21.240 what you would describe would be in a future metaverse, you know, like 323 00:23:21.279 --> 00:23:26.400 we'd be rob Blocks or Fortnite, but ultimately what happens on that one game 324 00:23:26.440 --> 00:23:30.240 stays in that game, right, Like you can invest money into your character 325 00:23:30.759 --> 00:23:33.400 and buy clothes for that character by virtual goods, et cetera. When you 326 00:23:33.400 --> 00:23:37.559 stop playing that game, that character is owned by that game, and you 327 00:23:37.559 --> 00:23:41.599 know that's it. It's sort of like close and limited to that game. 328 00:23:41.960 --> 00:23:47.720 In the open metaverse is really the the concept of interoperability, right, Like, 329 00:23:48.119 --> 00:23:52.720 can we have ownership of certain assets made you know, be it our 330 00:23:52.759 --> 00:23:57.279 avatar or be it virtual goods or some currencies, and have them work in 331 00:23:57.400 --> 00:24:00.680 multiple places that you can sort like go around like with a credit card, 332 00:24:00.720 --> 00:24:04.720 and it works in in the Nike shop and it also works in the supermarket. 333 00:24:06.000 --> 00:24:08.400 Um, that's not the way that the internet, sort of like you 334 00:24:08.440 --> 00:24:12.279 know in gaming works today, everything is close to one environment. You're right 335 00:24:12.359 --> 00:24:18.680 that today this open metaverse is still very very early stages. Some of it 336 00:24:18.839 --> 00:24:25.880 is being addressed with sort of like Web three, smart contracts, infrastructure of 337 00:24:25.960 --> 00:24:30.119 how to manage all these assets on the blockchain so they can be accessed no 338 00:24:30.160 --> 00:24:33.839 matter where you are, and some of it is just sort of like still 339 00:24:34.000 --> 00:24:38.400 still a bit of a dream. Recently, I think last week and recent 340 00:24:38.440 --> 00:24:44.000 horror, it's led a fifty six million Series B for a company called ready 341 00:24:44.039 --> 00:24:47.920 player Me. Ready player Me not one of our companies, but they met 342 00:24:47.920 --> 00:24:49.960 the team of the founder very early on. It was very impressed with what 343 00:24:51.039 --> 00:24:53.559 it was building. Unfortunately, it's not an Israeli startup, so it was 344 00:24:53.559 --> 00:24:59.240 out of scope for us. But what they do is they help users. 345 00:24:59.440 --> 00:25:03.400 Initially help users create avatars, right, and they built a great avatar creation 346 00:25:03.480 --> 00:25:08.480 tool. You can personalize that avatar, but there weren't that many places where 347 00:25:08.480 --> 00:25:11.720 you can use the avatar. It was more like a vanity thing of like 348 00:25:11.799 --> 00:25:17.359 I'm going to have a digital mic, you know, like a mini version 349 00:25:17.400 --> 00:25:19.319 of me that I can play with. But then they started offering it to 350 00:25:19.440 --> 00:25:25.359 developers, and today I believe there's more than three thousand developers that include ready 351 00:25:25.400 --> 00:25:27.680 player me avatars in their experiences. So it could be games, it could 352 00:25:27.720 --> 00:25:33.079 be virtual worlds, it could be virtual concert platforms, and and recent horror. 353 00:25:33.079 --> 00:25:36.960 It's justified the investment as saying, this is the first real attempt that 354 00:25:37.000 --> 00:25:40.920 we're seeing at interoperability, and I believe that we're going to see much more 355 00:25:40.960 --> 00:25:44.519 of that. Right So they're focusing on avatars, but they might be other 356 00:25:44.559 --> 00:25:48.079 companies that focus on the currency elements, on on the virtual goods elements, 357 00:25:48.279 --> 00:25:53.079 or on helping brands sort of like work with games and then help you take 358 00:25:53.119 --> 00:25:57.279 that brand affinity across games. Um, it's very early days, but I'm 359 00:25:57.279 --> 00:26:02.880 excited about what that may bring. That's a great example in terms of one 360 00:26:03.039 --> 00:26:08.400 maybe use case or or attempt to actually see building the avatar that actually is 361 00:26:08.440 --> 00:26:11.480 able to communicate or or to be in many different worlds. I mean, 362 00:26:11.920 --> 00:26:15.200 how I think about this a little bit is a bit to like airlines and 363 00:26:15.319 --> 00:26:18.759 airlines miles. Where you have miles, you have your own currency, right, 364 00:26:18.799 --> 00:26:22.920 you have miles for each airline you do, but those miles typically are 365 00:26:23.039 --> 00:26:27.079 very transferable. Some of them have, of course alliances with other airlines, 366 00:26:27.160 --> 00:26:30.920 but that kind of currency that you've built up by flying with them hasn't really 367 00:26:30.960 --> 00:26:36.079 actually been able to been transferred to, you know, an airline that's out 368 00:26:36.119 --> 00:26:38.640 of the network. So I'm personally interested to see how it actually will not 369 00:26:38.759 --> 00:26:42.640 be like airlines miles and actually be able to kind of fluctuate. No, 370 00:26:42.759 --> 00:26:45.160 I love it analogy, and I think that first of all, if you 371 00:26:45.240 --> 00:26:49.200 have status, uh, you know, in an airline, you will probably 372 00:26:49.319 --> 00:26:55.759 choose another airline that's affiliated, you know, in order to preserve that status, 373 00:26:55.799 --> 00:26:59.400 because you like the benefits that it brings you. And I think some 374 00:26:59.519 --> 00:27:03.039 of those some of those you know, foundations will will sort of like apply 375 00:27:03.160 --> 00:27:07.200 here as well. But I also have seen back in the day, I 376 00:27:07.200 --> 00:27:10.079 don't know if it's still available now, where you were able to take, 377 00:27:10.119 --> 00:27:14.799 for example, hotel points and convert them into airline points and sort of like 378 00:27:14.880 --> 00:27:18.559 transfer assets from one thing to another. And I have seen startups try to 379 00:27:18.599 --> 00:27:22.799 help people do it, because what happens is you you get really deep into 380 00:27:22.880 --> 00:27:26.240 a game, and then you may be invested in both currency, et cetera. 381 00:27:26.279 --> 00:27:30.960 But then you stop playing that game. Now you have this unutilized asset 382 00:27:30.000 --> 00:27:33.759 that today in a close environment, it's not easy to sell or convert or 383 00:27:34.079 --> 00:27:38.319 do anything with it, sort of like stuck. So I've seen interesting attempts, 384 00:27:38.359 --> 00:27:44.680 including Israeli startups that are trying to create this interoperability of currency and say 385 00:27:44.720 --> 00:27:48.440 like, well, when you buy the currency, you buy our currency basically, 386 00:27:48.440 --> 00:27:52.440 and we supply you with the game's currency. But then when you finish 387 00:27:52.559 --> 00:27:55.920 using the game's currency, you sort of like you resell it to us and 388 00:27:55.960 --> 00:27:57.680 get our type of currency, and then you can use another you know, 389 00:27:59.039 --> 00:28:02.680 sort of like take to another layer. So these are early attempts, and 390 00:28:02.920 --> 00:28:06.400 you know it's they haven't yet mature, but I do think that we will 391 00:28:06.440 --> 00:28:10.599 see a lot more of like a fintech angle to this. Yeah, and 392 00:28:10.880 --> 00:28:14.839 then you have like a whole currency exchange maybe with the other forms of exactly, 393 00:28:14.880 --> 00:28:18.039 and maybe there's an arbitrage and trading currencies per games, or like I'm 394 00:28:18.039 --> 00:28:22.039 going to buy these games currency early because I know that it can help me 395 00:28:22.079 --> 00:28:26.000 get more currency of another game. Later, right right now, that's that's 396 00:28:26.000 --> 00:28:30.079 a really really great point. You write, Google Ventures. Why did you 397 00:28:30.200 --> 00:28:37.000 end up leaving Google Ventures in order to start Imagine? Yeah? So I 398 00:28:37.039 --> 00:28:41.559 had an amazing time at Google. I joined Google um initially after finishing an 399 00:28:41.680 --> 00:28:47.160 m b A and working several years leading product teams. So I was a 400 00:28:47.200 --> 00:28:51.160 product manager, senior product manager, principle product manager. And then I got 401 00:28:51.160 --> 00:28:52.079 my m b A and I said, like, you know what I want 402 00:28:52.119 --> 00:28:56.119 to do business? And I joined Google initially to do something completely different to 403 00:28:56.160 --> 00:29:00.200 what I've done before, and that was strategic partnerships. And helped launch a 404 00:29:00.279 --> 00:29:04.039 bunch of products for Google in a MIA, and I launched Google Shopping in 405 00:29:04.119 --> 00:29:07.279 various markets, you know, help, and the launch of Google Well that 406 00:29:07.640 --> 00:29:11.880 same day deliveries. I did all the reviews, partnerships, and I really 407 00:29:11.960 --> 00:29:15.119 enjoyed the change of pace. But my passion was really startups and venture capital, 408 00:29:15.359 --> 00:29:21.160 and I was looking desperately is there anything I can do with Google around 409 00:29:21.160 --> 00:29:26.279 startups or venture capital? And then one day Eric Schmidt gave a speech at 410 00:29:26.279 --> 00:29:30.559 Back in the Day and this is twenty eleven, and said, We're going 411 00:29:30.640 --> 00:29:33.519 to open an innovation center in London for startups and it was the first of 412 00:29:33.559 --> 00:29:37.319 its kind, and I'm like, okay, this is it. I found 413 00:29:37.480 --> 00:29:41.599 sort of like the speech in an internal website. I looked created that internal 414 00:29:41.640 --> 00:29:45.680 website and email them and said like, hey, I just found out we're 415 00:29:45.720 --> 00:29:49.079 doing this. How can I help? That idea or speech ended up becoming 416 00:29:49.079 --> 00:29:55.400 Google Campus and I was very fortunate to being selected to to launch Google Campus, 417 00:29:55.440 --> 00:29:59.519 the first physical hub for startups made by Google from the ground up that 418 00:29:59.599 --> 00:30:03.119 was into in twelve. Campus became hugely successful, became a magnet sort of 419 00:30:03.160 --> 00:30:07.440 like for entrepreneurs in the UK, but also beyond. It was the first 420 00:30:07.480 --> 00:30:11.599 time you could really touch Google when you're a startup to give you an idea 421 00:30:11.599 --> 00:30:15.200 of scale. We did a thousand events in the first year alone, that's 422 00:30:15.240 --> 00:30:21.279 three day including weekends. And then Google asked me to replicate that model internationally 423 00:30:21.279 --> 00:30:25.680 and I became the head of Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe and helped launch campuses 424 00:30:25.759 --> 00:30:30.960 in other countries like you know, Madrid, Warsaw, Tel aviv Um and 425 00:30:30.000 --> 00:30:37.440 then so Paulo, Soul, Tokyo, etcetera, and partnerships in Berlin and 426 00:30:37.519 --> 00:30:41.480 Paris, and and then I joined Google Ventures as the first general partner outside 427 00:30:41.480 --> 00:30:45.240 of the US, and it was an amazing sort of like rotherer coaster right 428 00:30:45.359 --> 00:30:49.319 meteoric right to to to that position. And it was in many ways, 429 00:30:49.440 --> 00:30:53.079 you know, sort of like a dream came that came through. At the 430 00:30:53.160 --> 00:30:57.559 same time, when I was at Google Ventures, I had multiple people approached 431 00:30:57.559 --> 00:31:02.880 me and said let's start a fund to other and they came in different flavors, 432 00:31:03.240 --> 00:31:07.240 and you know, one of them was like a billionaires, extremely successful 433 00:31:07.279 --> 00:31:11.119 investor. Another one was a friend but focusing on an area that you know, 434 00:31:11.160 --> 00:31:14.680 I'm less interested in. And one of them was my partner at Remagining, 435 00:31:14.799 --> 00:31:19.480 Kevin, who was basically also managing investments on behalf of a corporate but 436 00:31:19.640 --> 00:31:26.319 into Israeli startups, and he actually managed to convince that corporate too he was 437 00:31:26.400 --> 00:31:29.400 leaving the company, and he managed to convince them to sort of like invest 438 00:31:29.559 --> 00:31:33.480 in an independent fund that would do what he was doing. So we we 439 00:31:33.519 --> 00:31:37.079 actually came together after you know, knowing each other for twenty years and starting 440 00:31:37.119 --> 00:31:42.160 a company in college in two thousand and three, you know, like dating 441 00:31:42.200 --> 00:31:45.680 myself and working for a startup in New York called g LG, like one 442 00:31:45.720 --> 00:31:49.680 of the world's largest expert Networks that received a billion dollar valuation in two thousand 443 00:31:49.759 --> 00:31:55.559 and six, and we created re Imagine Ventures one, essentially as a multi 444 00:31:55.599 --> 00:32:01.519 corporate Google Ventures where we invest independently for financial returns. But in addition to 445 00:32:01.640 --> 00:32:07.039 the company that my friend was investing for, we managed to convince a few 446 00:32:07.039 --> 00:32:13.279 other strategics to back us. So Imagine Ventures one is this independent fund that 447 00:32:13.440 --> 00:32:17.680 invest in early stage startups, but it's backed by a number of strategics that 448 00:32:17.880 --> 00:32:22.279 enables us to one get real time feedback from the market before we invest, 449 00:32:22.720 --> 00:32:28.400 and to support our portfolio companies in a very meaningful way. So the opportunity 450 00:32:28.440 --> 00:32:31.680 to do something that I believe in with someone I know and trust and like, 451 00:32:31.799 --> 00:32:36.279 you know and work with in various capacities for twenty years, it was 452 00:32:36.359 --> 00:32:37.880 just, you know, too good for me to pass them. That sounds 453 00:32:38.480 --> 00:32:43.240 amazing. And what was the reason? Since you have experienced, you know, 454 00:32:43.279 --> 00:32:46.039 investing in a number of countries, um, you know, around the 455 00:32:46.079 --> 00:32:50.839 world. Why Israel? So I grew up in Israel. I was born 456 00:32:50.839 --> 00:32:52.680 in Argentina, but I grew up in Israel. I moved to Israel when 457 00:32:52.680 --> 00:32:57.200 I was eight years old. I spent my formative years in Israel, and 458 00:32:57.720 --> 00:33:00.759 I actually co founded a startup in two I was in three, as I 459 00:33:00.839 --> 00:33:06.039 mentioned, out of college in Israel, and and that was I think a 460 00:33:06.119 --> 00:33:10.079 transformative experience, you know, sort of like going and pitching two vcs back 461 00:33:10.079 --> 00:33:13.640 in the day and sort of like being on the other side of the table, 462 00:33:13.759 --> 00:33:16.519 but then seeing a startup at scale, well it's it's hardly a startup 463 00:33:16.599 --> 00:33:20.480 today, but g L. G. Gerson Learnman Group back in the day, 464 00:33:20.759 --> 00:33:24.519 the first sort of like expert network connecting experts and clients. Back in 465 00:33:24.519 --> 00:33:29.000 the day it was hedge funds, but now it's like corporates, consulting firms, 466 00:33:29.039 --> 00:33:30.000 you know, you name it was. You know, it was sort 467 00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:35.119 of like seeing it in in warp speed, like the level of talent. 468 00:33:35.240 --> 00:33:38.240 And so I knew since I was little, I guess you know, I 469 00:33:38.279 --> 00:33:42.960 wanted to be doing this. I wanted to be a VC and I want 470 00:33:43.000 --> 00:33:49.200 to focus on Israeli startups because they've seen the Israeli entrepreneurs can be extremely technical, 471 00:33:49.759 --> 00:33:52.200 but where they sort of like need a little bit of help is in 472 00:33:52.279 --> 00:33:55.400 opening doors and go to market and you know stuff that I'm more equipped, 473 00:33:55.519 --> 00:34:00.400 given my international experience in helping them with so between myself and my partner, 474 00:34:00.440 --> 00:34:05.519 we complement each other like very much. But you know, Kevin is based 475 00:34:05.519 --> 00:34:07.440 in Tel Aviv. I'm based in London, and I go between the two. 476 00:34:07.719 --> 00:34:10.639 I come from a product background. Kevin comes more from a business and 477 00:34:10.679 --> 00:34:15.159 management background, but also like co founded startups and and raise money from vcs. 478 00:34:15.280 --> 00:34:20.440 Both of us have and and sort of like manage large teams. So 479 00:34:20.480 --> 00:34:22.880 it's it's really a privilege to work with entrepreneurs, you know, and and 480 00:34:22.960 --> 00:34:29.079 help them grow. How do you think about the market today, How are 481 00:34:29.079 --> 00:34:32.960 you currently analyzing opportunities today? That's probably a cause for a drink. I 482 00:34:34.000 --> 00:34:38.280 think we're we're in a definitely in the midst of a transition point, right 483 00:34:38.360 --> 00:34:44.320 like something has definitely changed. One was like, you know, sort of 484 00:34:44.360 --> 00:34:50.480 like people writing checks very quickly valuations where you know, the multiples were very 485 00:34:50.559 --> 00:34:54.400 high, and it looks exactly the opposite, right, Like there's a pullback 486 00:34:54.440 --> 00:34:59.159 from the market from a lot of vcs, like a pause in investments, 487 00:34:59.679 --> 00:35:04.199 sort of like the performance of the public market that compressed multiples, you know, 488 00:35:04.320 --> 00:35:07.840 drastically, And the I P O window is currently closed. So I 489 00:35:07.840 --> 00:35:13.000 think it's a time to exercise caution both on the entrepreneurs side and on the 490 00:35:13.079 --> 00:35:15.440 VC side, and like everyone else, you know, we've been working with 491 00:35:15.519 --> 00:35:22.480 our portfolio companies to make sure that they are well equipped to not only survive 492 00:35:22.559 --> 00:35:25.159 this period but also thrive. So whoever had to raise sort of like help 493 00:35:25.199 --> 00:35:29.800 them get over the line, whoever had to make changes and adjustments, you 494 00:35:29.800 --> 00:35:31.880 know, help them make those adjustments and make sure that they're you know, 495 00:35:32.119 --> 00:35:37.159 well equipped to to survive a potentially prolonged winter. But at the same time, 496 00:35:37.559 --> 00:35:43.400 I think that the worst forecast you know, like recession, downturn, 497 00:35:43.519 --> 00:35:46.119 et cetera, have yet to materialized. Right, Like, the flights are 498 00:35:46.119 --> 00:35:50.440 full, the restaurants are full. Yes, we're starting to see the beginning 499 00:35:50.480 --> 00:35:53.719 of inflation with rising interest rates, and you know, the prices are going 500 00:35:53.800 --> 00:35:58.599 up. Specifically for our topic, Mike, you know, consumer, I 501 00:35:58.639 --> 00:36:02.280 think it will have an impact on discretionary spend and how much money people spend 502 00:36:02.360 --> 00:36:06.559 sort of like that is outside this sort of like rent and food, et 503 00:36:06.639 --> 00:36:09.239 cetera. But at the same time, it's yet too early to say is 504 00:36:09.239 --> 00:36:14.039 this going to be a prolonged winter or are we What we're seeing is sort 505 00:36:14.039 --> 00:36:17.719 of like a blip and things are sort of like going to to adjust themselves. 506 00:36:17.920 --> 00:36:22.840 Personally, I believe that failing to prepare is preparing to fail, you 507 00:36:22.880 --> 00:36:25.800 know, so you have to take steps, you have to rip the band 508 00:36:25.840 --> 00:36:30.840 aid, you know, like this happened across the board, at least in 509 00:36:30.960 --> 00:36:34.559 Israel, and I'm sure in the US as well. Companies have laid off 510 00:36:34.639 --> 00:36:38.519 people. You know, companies have reduced their projected burns in terms of how 511 00:36:38.599 --> 00:36:43.119 much are they going to grow in terms of head count and marketing spend has 512 00:36:43.159 --> 00:36:46.679 to be spent cautiously, perhaps with more of a view on R o I 513 00:36:47.079 --> 00:36:52.599 and and sales efficiency versus like growth at all costs. And these are things 514 00:36:52.639 --> 00:36:57.280 that to a large extent I I agree with, But you have to also 515 00:36:57.360 --> 00:37:01.480 balance it with continue to innovating, growing because in startups that's the name of 516 00:37:01.519 --> 00:37:05.159 the game. So that's how I see it. I see it as a 517 00:37:05.199 --> 00:37:09.079 time of um necessary to take action, you know, stay optimistic, but 518 00:37:09.199 --> 00:37:14.519 also don't be blind to what's happening and make sure that you're well equick to 519 00:37:14.559 --> 00:37:17.440 survive this period. It's a really great point in the world of consumer about 520 00:37:17.440 --> 00:37:23.079 consumer spend. How fights yourself fall And we haven't seen consumer spend drop really 521 00:37:23.360 --> 00:37:27.719 or really much of a change in it. So so in terms of for 522 00:37:28.000 --> 00:37:32.239 you know, consumer start apps and just the world of consumer innovation, we 523 00:37:32.320 --> 00:37:37.719 haven't. This might be still a good opportunity to maybe launch your business as 524 00:37:37.760 --> 00:37:40.840 well and as well as to keep going. I wrote about it recently in 525 00:37:42.119 --> 00:37:45.960 sort of like a post on vis Cafe about the are we in a creator 526 00:37:45.000 --> 00:37:50.360 economy winter where I talk about that a little bit that you know, it 527 00:37:50.519 --> 00:37:54.679 might be more difficult to get those dollars from consumers, but it doesn't mean 528 00:37:54.679 --> 00:37:58.599 that there's no business there, you know. It means that you need to 529 00:37:58.639 --> 00:38:01.360 make adjustments. So maybe instead of charging a subscription, think about how you 530 00:38:01.400 --> 00:38:07.159 can reven you share where you make money when the when the creator makes money, 531 00:38:07.239 --> 00:38:09.840 and if you're a creator and you're charging consumers, you know, like 532 00:38:09.920 --> 00:38:14.679 maybe instead of charging for that subscription, think about how you can monetize with 533 00:38:14.760 --> 00:38:19.199 advertising, because there's still brands that want to reach those audiences, et cetera. 534 00:38:19.639 --> 00:38:22.280 So that's what I mean. It's like, it's not we haven't sort 535 00:38:22.280 --> 00:38:25.000 of like it's not time to pack up and go home and say like, 536 00:38:25.039 --> 00:38:30.960 okay, innovation startups are over, but it's definitely not the good old days 537 00:38:31.159 --> 00:38:35.159 one, and I think in many ways this correction is actually healthy for the 538 00:38:35.239 --> 00:38:37.440 market. One of the questions we've actually had on this podcast quite a bit. 539 00:38:37.519 --> 00:38:42.199 I'll love to hear your perspective is what's next after the iPhone as really 540 00:38:42.320 --> 00:38:45.760 the main consumer platform. Would love to kind of see your thoughts around that 541 00:38:45.920 --> 00:38:51.119 and as well as how you're thinking about who actually wins more could be a 542 00:38:51.159 --> 00:38:54.719 winner when it comes to VR. Yeah, well that's that's that's a big 543 00:38:54.840 --> 00:39:01.320 question. I think when I created a mobile um text input solution in two 544 00:39:01.320 --> 00:39:06.440 thousand and three, I was doing a keyboard for mobile in two thousand and 545 00:39:06.519 --> 00:39:08.880 three. The iPhone came in two thousand and seven or eight, you know, 546 00:39:08.920 --> 00:39:12.760 like the app store I think was launched in two thousand and eight. 547 00:39:12.880 --> 00:39:15.320 So to distribute software on mobile back in the day, I had to do 548 00:39:15.360 --> 00:39:20.239 O E M agreements with the manufacturers, and you know, the cycles were 549 00:39:20.280 --> 00:39:22.599 so long, and then when the iPhone came, Think about how much value 550 00:39:22.760 --> 00:39:28.480 was created from this invention of the mobile and the app store, and companies 551 00:39:28.519 --> 00:39:35.800 like Uber and Airbnb and you know, Amazon largely benefited the massively, like 552 00:39:35.840 --> 00:39:38.199 all the gaming companies that were created, you know, as a result of 553 00:39:38.199 --> 00:39:43.920 this sort of mobile gaming. Huge industries were born after this. I think 554 00:39:43.960 --> 00:39:50.159 that smart glasses are probably going to be the next computing platform the form factor 555 00:39:50.679 --> 00:39:53.320 that we know today. Like I was one of the early recipients of Google 556 00:39:53.360 --> 00:39:57.519 Glass, I believe, one of the first outside of the US, and 557 00:39:57.559 --> 00:40:00.159 it was very cool back in the day to be a to take hands free 558 00:40:00.320 --> 00:40:06.960 video. But it the form factor was basically what got people to be called 559 00:40:07.039 --> 00:40:09.920 glass holes, right, Like it was a bit creepy, you know, 560 00:40:10.039 --> 00:40:15.440 like it wasn't widely accepted. And I think since then, you've seen a 561 00:40:15.559 --> 00:40:21.000 number of companies from Snap to Facebook, Slash Meta partnering with ray Band, 562 00:40:21.360 --> 00:40:22.920 you know, and other companies sort of like come out with glasses. And 563 00:40:22.960 --> 00:40:27.800 I think it's going to get more normalized. But there's no company like Apple 564 00:40:28.119 --> 00:40:34.639 to make that change permanent, right, So unfortunately, I'm I suffer from 565 00:40:34.639 --> 00:40:37.599 the same problem, you know, Like I have a MacBook, I have 566 00:40:37.679 --> 00:40:40.800 an iPhone, I have airports, and probably I'll have the glasses as well. 567 00:40:42.000 --> 00:40:45.920 And I think that once that becomes normalized, there's gonna be huge companies 568 00:40:46.000 --> 00:40:51.559 built on top of this new computing platform. And and I think it's not 569 00:40:51.719 --> 00:40:54.760 a r and it's not VR. I think it's actually gonna be this x 570 00:40:54.840 --> 00:41:00.840 are you know, or like mixed reality overlays on top of sort of like 571 00:41:00.159 --> 00:41:04.039 what we see. It's not about being shut out from the world. It's 572 00:41:04.039 --> 00:41:08.320 about enhancing the world. And I think that there's going to be opportunities across 573 00:41:08.320 --> 00:41:13.840 the board, from infrastructure like Echo three D managing three D content in the 574 00:41:13.880 --> 00:41:20.079 cloud, to enabling technology like helping people create the overlays on top of reality 575 00:41:20.199 --> 00:41:23.960 and you know, creator economy tools that help people create interesting content, et 576 00:41:24.000 --> 00:41:30.119 cetera. To consumer experiences from from games to scavenger hunts to you know, 577 00:41:30.239 --> 00:41:34.639 to like tools for dating, you know, to tell you what's the next 578 00:41:34.679 --> 00:41:37.599 line you should say to to impress your date. You know. That's that's 579 00:41:37.599 --> 00:41:42.199 all coming, I feel like, and it's too early to say, but 580 00:41:42.239 --> 00:41:45.679 I think Apple um in the last couple of days it came out that they 581 00:41:45.800 --> 00:41:51.360 filed a few trademarks around reality and the rumors are that that's going to be 582 00:41:51.519 --> 00:41:53.679 sort of like the focus of their new headset. So if nothing else, 583 00:41:53.719 --> 00:41:58.920 I think it will steer other companies to to also come out with products. 584 00:41:59.440 --> 00:42:04.360 You know, Tis coming up with another headset in October but in in all 585 00:42:04.880 --> 00:42:07.280 you know, in all expectations, I believe it will still take a couple 586 00:42:07.320 --> 00:42:10.719 of years at least, if not more, for this to be sort of 587 00:42:10.760 --> 00:42:14.880 like out in the wild and you know, people using them every day. 588 00:42:15.119 --> 00:42:19.519 It's going to start as an expensive toy, and we're probably five years away 589 00:42:19.559 --> 00:42:22.119 from it being sort of like penetration to the market. Yeah. No, 590 00:42:22.239 --> 00:42:27.719 And I appreciate your analysis in terms of how big tech is, who you 591 00:42:27.760 --> 00:42:30.760 think will will win, or or even just what will be you know, 592 00:42:30.880 --> 00:42:32.800 a game changer for it. What do you think, like would you would 593 00:42:32.800 --> 00:42:37.360 you buy an Apple headset and you know, take it out in the world 594 00:42:37.800 --> 00:42:40.920 if the price is right, I probably would. I probably would if the 595 00:42:40.960 --> 00:42:44.880 price is right, exactly. I don't earn an oculus. One of my 596 00:42:44.920 --> 00:42:46.920 cousins does. I tried the other day though. I thought it was pretty 597 00:42:46.960 --> 00:42:52.840 remarkable what you can do. We had we were playing plank, and like 598 00:42:52.920 --> 00:42:54.960 my parents couldn't like go off the plank. They just thought it was way 599 00:42:55.039 --> 00:42:59.679 too scary. It's just crazy some of the technology that that, of course 600 00:42:59.719 --> 00:43:02.199 is out there. What's one book that's inspired you personally? In one book 601 00:43:02.199 --> 00:43:07.039 that's inspire you professionally? I read a book called The Five Temptations of the 602 00:43:07.159 --> 00:43:13.159 CEO by Patrick LANCITIONI It's really written in the form of a fable, like 603 00:43:13.400 --> 00:43:16.320 a story about a guy sort of like in a train, and it's really 604 00:43:16.320 --> 00:43:22.000 easy to digest. But I think the lessons are very powerful and professionally I 605 00:43:22.079 --> 00:43:24.920 recommended to CEOs and I've received good feedback from people, so you know, 606 00:43:25.119 --> 00:43:31.280 I highly recommended and perhaps a book that inspired me personally. I really enjoyed 607 00:43:31.280 --> 00:43:36.920 the last lecture by a professor. I believe it was that m I t 608 00:43:37.400 --> 00:43:42.519 Unfortunately he suffered from from terminal cancer and he sort of like talks about his 609 00:43:42.639 --> 00:43:45.360 life with that perspective. And I think, having lost my dad at a 610 00:43:45.480 --> 00:43:50.360 very young age, I sort of like have this fragility of life and you 611 00:43:50.360 --> 00:43:53.519 know, a reminder that like every day is a gift. UM. So 612 00:43:53.719 --> 00:43:58.559 I think it's good to have perspective in whatever we do. Thank you for 613 00:43:58.599 --> 00:44:01.400 those UM. I don't think we've had any other person yet talk about Five 614 00:44:01.400 --> 00:44:05.599 Temptations of the CEO, but excited to add that to our our list. 615 00:44:05.840 --> 00:44:08.639 And the last lecture we've had a couple of other folks bring that up how 616 00:44:08.679 --> 00:44:13.320 powerful it was for them. So that's really cool. Easy. Thank you 617 00:44:13.400 --> 00:44:15.960 so much for your time. It's been so much fun. Thanks Mike. 618 00:44:15.039 --> 00:44:19.960 Likewise, thanks for having me and great to finally make it happen. Yeah 619 00:44:20.039 --> 00:44:22.480 yeah yeah, so excited chat. Thank you and there you have it. 620 00:44:22.599 --> 00:44:25.920 It was such a pleasure Tony with Easy. I highly recommend follow him on 621 00:44:25.960 --> 00:44:30.360 Twitter at E. Diggs E D I G G S. If you enjoyed 622 00:44:30.400 --> 00:44:32.800 this episode, I love it. If you'd write a review on the Apple 623 00:44:32.880 --> 00:44:37.079 Podcast. You're also welcome to follow me your host Mike on Twitter at Mike 624 00:44:37.119 --> 00:44:59.119 Gelb and also follow for episode announcements at Consumer VC. Thanks for listening everyone. 625 00:45:00.400 --> 00:45:00.960 Oh what a he